Customer Reviews: George Washington's Teeth
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon March 7, 2004
An interesting new perspective on George Washington. It makes him seem more human to children. Young children are intrigued to have the myth of wooden teeth squelched. Ther book provides a historical timeline in the back. This is a great book for children of ALL ages. Even I, an older child and teacher, learned some things. I had no idea our first president was so obsessed with his teeth and that he had such an active role in the solutions to his dental problems. Highly recommended.
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on February 9, 2005
After reviewing this book for a graduate Children's Literature course, we were surprised to see how much George Washington's teeth played a role in his day to day life. It was a comical rhyming story that would be appropriate for elementary students. As Kindergarten and First Grade teachers we would incorporate its theme into teaching dental health. Young children are often very excited about losing their baby teeth, however, this book would convince them to take very good care of their grown up teeth. The book could also be used in upper elementary classes to discuss myths, like George Washington's wooden teeth!
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There are lots of ways of chronicling the change in the national temperament, and one of them is that when I was a kid it was the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree that was what stood out. However, the inquiring minds of the nation's youth today are now going to be more intrigued by the legend the first President had wooden teeth, which is precisely how Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora, aided and abetted by Brock Cole's pictures, manages to teach young readers a nice little lesson in the finer points of historiography.
Told in four line verse, "George Washington's Teeth" relates an imaginative set of encounters between General Washington and his dentist as the number of teeth in the mouth of the Father of Our Country decreases one by one over the years leading to Independence and the Presidency. Well, that is not entirely true since the authors have Washington losing two teeth the night be crossed the Delaware, but that left him with seven at that point in American history, which is a lucky number that fits the victory at Trenton. Eventually Washington is elected President, which is good, but has no teeth left, which is bad (especially when having your portrait painted). Fortunately, he comes up with a solution.
The first part of "George Washington's Teeth" is pretty whimsical, but then the last part of the book contains a time line of important events in George Washington's life from his own letters, diaries, and accounts. However, instead of dealing primarily with the highpoints of Washington's personal and political life, we learn about what historians have uncovered about his teeth: from having already lost two teeth by the time he was twenty two and the rest were all black and rotted, to eating pickled tripe because it does not hurt his teeth, and a letter requesting plaster of Paris to make some false teeth. These are the sort of bizarre historical details that can trick young readers into thinking history is fun.
There are even photographs of Washington's last sent of dentures. For the record, they were not wooden, but carved from hippopotamus ivory, the palate swaged from a sheet of gold, and springs made of coiled gold wire. Hopefully there are some other small nuggets of historical gold that Chandra and Comora, or like minded individuals, can turn to for books in the same spirit as this one.
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on June 6, 2014
My students always walk away from this read aloud with a new found appreciation for oral hygiene! This book is entertaining and interesting from beginning to end. It tells how George Washington lost his teeth. My kindergartners LOVE this as a read aloud, and always have a bunch of questions at the end. There is a great timeline in the book, and a picture of George Washington's fake teeth. My students are mesmerized from beginning to end. Your students will never again forget to brush their teeth!
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on June 20, 2013
This is one of my daughter's favorite books. She went through a very long American Revolution phase and this book figured heavily. But... it is gross! I'm a bit of dental wimp so the graphic, albeit cartoon, pictures of 18th century dental techniques were pretty hard to take! The text is a poem though and reads well. Good info at the back about the real story too - since the poem takes a few liberties. Definitely makes one thankful for modern dentistry, however uncomfortable it still is...
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on September 6, 2004
We bought this book last year after visiting Mount Vernon. We had told our (four and five year old) children of George Washington and his teeth since they started regular tooth brushing. We used the story of how poor George lost all his teeth to motivate them to brush their teeth regularly. Needless to say, they both have good dental care habits and good teeth to go with them! This book has cute illustrations to go with the rhymes on each page and made the stories all the more real to our children. At the back of the book there is a wonderful timeline that chronicles the story of George Washington's life and how his teeth were a big part of it. The timeline is done in a manner that will make adults appreciate the story of George Washington's life in a new way.
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on December 29, 2012
I am a school counselor and used this book in one of my lessons. I enjoyed the story as much as the students did. They loved the counting of the teeth and the rhythm of the book. The story of George Washington is told in such a whimsical way. Anything to get kids interested in history works for me! The illustrations in the book were great, but the section in the back with real pictures and more textbook facts were a great addition to the book.
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on February 14, 2013
Wonderful children's story written in rhyme. A whimsical mini-history lesson on the miseries suffered by George Washington with his poor dental care. I have used this as a read-aloud for my K-class, and they were in stitches. Good for K through grade 3. Reading level approx. age 7.
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on May 31, 2005
This book is a wonderful addition to any collection of books! It rhymes and makes history fun for kids. The pictures are wonderful and work very well with the text. I have read this to several elementary classes, and all of the students have really enjoyed it. In the back of the book there is a time line of actual historical facts about George Washington's teeth. I would recommend this book to anyone!
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on February 26, 2012
Bought this book for my friend's kids (she's five, the oldest is seven). They loved it! (Well, except the six week old, but she wasn't so interested...) It was adorable and hilarious. I got them the book because the five year old didn't want to brush his teeth one day, and I warned him that George Washington didn't have any teeth at all. He didn't believe me, so I went hunting for a book to show him. They actually made me read it three times in a row before they would move on to anything else. It tells a great story, it rhymes, and it lets the kids count along with the number of teeth he has left! I couldn't have been happier.
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